Improving Sales: The Excuse Departement is Closed

Both Sides of the Table

Specifically what is often not in the DNA of founders are sales skills. The result is a lack of knowledge of the process and of sales people themselves. I had never had any sales training so everything we did for the first couple of years was instinctual.

Sales 340

Where is the best source of early stage investment?

Berkonomics

If you have been following our recent insights, you’ll be up to speed knowing that professional investors negotiate tough terms, from provisions of control over asset acquisition, eventual sale of the company, future investments, forced co-sale when others attempt to sell their shares and more.

Invest 263

How I Got the Monkey Off My Back – Today Was a Good Day

Both Sides of the Table

As a result I didn’t write my first venture capital check until March 2009 – exactly 5 years ago. I divided success into the phases of venture capital and 18 months into writing my first check here was my view (details on each in the link above).

Downey 401

What I Would Look for When Choosing a VC – Knowing What I Know Now?

Both Sides of the Table

So I thought I’d write about out with what I would look for in a VC knowing what I know now and why. VCs should be more of a coach than proscriptively telling you what to do. I think of VCs as coaches. Picking a VC is hard.

Coach 381

Equity financing: great for rapid growth startups

Berkonomics

Second, there is a rather new term for those large, individual investors who are usually former entrepreneurs made rich through sale of their previous ventures. This class of investor typically writes checks from $50,000 to $250,000.

Equity 253

Why You’re Not Getting the Most out of Your Board

Both Sides of the Table

Every time I think to write a post about this I figure the most recent board meeting I’ve attended will think it’s about them so I don’t bother. So I’m going to write a series of board meetings posts unrelated to anybody or maybe an amalgamation of them all.

Why Your Startup Doesn’t Need a COO

Both Sides of the Table

So I know I’m getting myself into a bit of trouble by writing this. They will often run all of the daily reports into them covering off for finance, sales, marketing, biz dev & HR. Similarly I talk to CEOs who can’t do a sales pipeline review with me.

Sales 347

Some Thoughts on Leadership Going into 2016

Both Sides of the Table

But putting no time into anchoring your beliefs because you’re too busy executing sales, marketing, support, product & engineering is an easy recipe for leadership drift. I’ve spent hours this week reading about the firing of the head coach and personnel manager of the football team I support – The Philadelphia Eagles. His name was Chip Kelly and he came off of a very successful stint as the coach of the collegiate Oregon Ducks. I wanted to just write.

Coach 237

People Management: Startup Teams Should Dip but not Skip

Both Sides of the Table

You’ll get sales information from your VP of Sales, marketing information from your VP Marketing, tech information from your CTO and so on. An obvious example would be in sales. It might tell you that you need better sales training or to hone your key selling messages.

This is How Startups “Level Up” After Raising Money

Both Sides of the Table

If you’re an early investor like I am that often means writing the first $2-3 million check into a business that previously had either survived on fumes or on a $500,000 angel round. The best ones bring in more executive leadership so you can appropriate allocate resources across sales, marketing, product, engineering and support. If it’s an enterprise software company you can no longer rely on tacit knowledge to win sales campaigns.

Interview: Seth Epstein of SocialStay

InfoChachkie

We have built SocialStay for scale so I think the ‘chasm’ is both a function of time and sales. You don’t need much… But what you do need is sales. Write it down…. Positions range from sales, tech, producers, etc….

Coach 245

CapLinked Raise $1.6m Series A Round & Appoint Adam Sroka As VP Technology

Tech Zulu Event

CapLinked says the round of funding and new appointment are an advancement in their move to displace the legacy left by Virtual Data Room (VDR) with their intuitive new product for coordinating on complex business deals such as asset sales, financings, and mergers and acquisitions.

8 Tips To Get the Most Out of Your Investors and Board

Both Sides of the Table

In this period (less than 2 years) he has brought on incredibly talented senior execs is sales, marketing, product management, client services, finance, vp engineering and more. He is very pleasant when he calls and writes. Rob Bailey is the CEO of DataSift.

Tips 382

Embrace Losing – It Will Make You Stronger

Both Sides of the Table

It is never as rewarding when you’re the coach (but coaching has many other benefits. Write things down. Looong Appendix (only for those interested in reading another story about losing a sale & key lessons): A personal story of losing a sale that haunted me for years.

SoCal 354

Embrace Losing – It Will Make You Stronger

Both Sides of the Table

It is never as rewarding when you’re the coach (but coaching has many other benefits. Write things down. Looong Appendix (only for those interested in reading another story about losing a sale & key lessons): A personal story of losing a sale that haunted me for years.

SoCal 350

Board members must protect the coporation before themselves.

Berkonomics

They write into their investment documents that they will occupy a seat on the board for as long as they are invested in the company, thinking of this as a protection for their investment and tool for them to influence growth. Should board members therefore withdraw and not participate in corporate planning, coaching the CEO and other issues not related to the duty of care or duty of loyalty? All other board functions are secondary.

Class 159

As Populist as it May Feel, 98% of VCs Aren’t Dumb

Both Sides of the Table

In the original version of his post, Andy writes. And Coach Campbell. I’ve heard directly from top executives that Jeff Bezos (in my opinion the most talented person in the tech industry) has received his fair share of VC coaching in the early years.

How to Make Better Reference Calls

Both Sides of the Table

Plus, if she does have areas where we could coach her on improvement it would help to know that coming in.” CFOs often know the other CFOs and same for heads of sales, marketing, tech, etc. Reference calls. We all have to make them.

Coach 327

My Life as a CEO (and VC): Chief Psychologist

Both Sides of the Table

I finally got around to writing it having read Fred Wilson’s post about what a CEO does. Due to the language and culture issues in Europe we opted for a country structure with an MD in each country and local sales, marketing & customers support staff.

Sales 342

Raise cash from trusted, close resources first.

Berkonomics

This insight follows closely the conclusions from the previous declaration, that professional investors negotiate tough terms, from provisions of control over asset acquisition, eventual sale of the company, future investments, forced co-sale when others attempt to sell their shares and more. I was so enthusiastic that I coached the entrepreneur to approach his mother, who invested $50,000 under the same terms as my investment.

Don’t Cede Control: Why You Need to Cut out Middle Men in Negotiations

Both Sides of the Table

You can certainly get coaching from your VC on how to play the negotiations since they do it more often than you do. We’re both principals in a sale. Middle Men. Middle People? They exist in all forms of work and life.

Doc 341

How to Run Better Presentations & Improve Results

Both Sides of the Table

If it’s preparing for a sales, biz dev or other type of meeting it’s so easy these days using LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter to find out who knows that individual. You need to write down key questions & actions as you park them. I sit through a lot of presentations.

Slides 376

Female Entrepreneurs, AI and Investing: A Chat With Meredith Finn, March Capital

socalTECH

The last thing, is understanding how open and receptive all of these CEOs were to feedback, coaching, and improvement. Obviously, the conversation in the market about more female investors is also an important piece of the puzzle, and that will help provide improvements as well, because I think the greater parity we see in people writing the checks, the more parity in where the dollars go.

What Should We Make of Peter Thiel’s “20 Under 20? Education Program?

Both Sides of the Table

In Poly Sci I learned critical thinking and writing. If I’m counseling young people I often coach them to consider getting degrees that will be practical for becoming more employable when they graduate. If you’re excellent at what you do (coding, sales, marketing, leadership) and you can demonstrate that, I really don’t care if you went to or dropped out of college.

Embrace Losing

Both Sides of the Table

It is never as rewarding when you’re the coach (but coaching has many other benefits ;-). I was working hand-in-hand with my close friend and associate Stuart Lander who was running our UK office and with one of our local sales reps. We helped the write out their requirements for a system. Winning the contract meant that we would hit our quarterly revenue figure and be in good position for our annual sales target. Write things down.

Coach 150

Interview with Milo Sindell, Knowledge Genie

socalTECH

Instead of writing a book, we wanted to develop a platform to bring our methods to life, and scale our knowledge. More recently, we licensed our platform to leadership guru Marshall Goldsmith, so that he could transform his $200,000 coaching engagements into a virtual program, so that a much wider audience could benefit from Marshall's process and work.

Geni 100